2.3 % Grew in China’s Economy

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  China’s economy recovered to pre-pandemic growth rates in the fourth quarter, propelling it to a stronger than expected full-year expansion of 2.3% and making it the only major one to avoid contraction.  Gross domestic product climbed 6.5% in the final quarter from a year earlier, fueled by stronger-than-expected industrial output, the statistics bureau said Monday.   Covid-19, which has ravaged the world economy, first emerged in central China in late 2019. But the world's second-largest economy also became the first to bounce back after imposing strict lockdowns and virus control measures. It is expected to be the only major world economy clocking positive 2020 growth. In the last three months of 2020, China's economic rebound continued with a better-than-expected 6.5 percent growth on-year, a sustained improvement since the second quarter. This brings it back to a pre-pandemic trajectory, although full-year 2020 growth is still its worst performance since 1976, when the ec

Air Pollution

Introduction to Air Pollution: 

Air pollution has been a topic of discussion in almost all the seminars on nature. Air pollution if  
stated in simple terms is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful for living beings. Air pollution is prevalent in varying amounts throughout the world with  some places having such polluted air that it is almost fatal to live. Now Air pollution has no one source and also doesn’t have a simple solution. It has been caused by a multitude of events and also requires quite complex and tedious methods for its reduction. Air Pollution is now  considered as one of the most prominent health hazards in nature due to its presence in all parts  of the world. Earlier, it was thought that air pollution exclusively harms the respiratory organs  but when air pollution research advanced further, it was realized that air pollution can also cause  a multitude of Cardiovascular diseases and neuroglial, reproductive and immune system  disorders. Air Pollution has reached an extent from which recovery is almost  impossible and will require many decades of effective measures from governments around the 
world collectively working to achieve a state of clean air throughout the world. 

 Air pollution is one of the world’s leading factors of deaths, reportedly almost 5 million deaths are caused due to  air pollution each year. This makes Air pollution the cause of death for  9% of total deaths in year throughout the world. Although many guidelines and standards have been brought up by International organizations, these seem to not be effective in real life as were shown in technical terms. Hence, we require strict actions and laws on the issue of air pollution from governments around the world. Such actions require the government to take some steps towards environment protection and not focus on capitalism at all times. Air pollution has also been a major factor in Climate change and Global warming which cause speculation towards the continuity of human race for coming generations. Sustainable development concept should be followed by all the nations to make sure that industrial amelioration should not come at a cost of environmental degradation. There is also the concept of Climate Justice which can be seen in the United Nations Sustainable Cities Program which is implemented as “capacity-building and institutionalstrengthening facility, with the goal of ensuring environmentally sustainable local development  fully realizes the vital contributions that urban areas make to overall social and economic Development”. These concepts can be taken up by different governments and if effectively pursued, will result in greater air quality throughout the world. 

  Causes of Airpollution

There are multiple causes of air pollution. The main attribute of air pollution is the presence of  
harmful substances in air and this is caused mainly due to human activities, although some  
natural calamities like forest fires, volcanic eruptions and dust storms. To better understand the causes of air pollution we can classify it into various divisions. 

Visible Air Pollution: the term is pretty self-explanatory, this type of pollution is visible like the smog  over a city. 

Invisible Air Pollution: it cannot be seen by naked eyes clearly and not as noticeable but it can prove to be deadlier. 

If we chose to dive deeper into this, we can further divide pollutants into primary and secondary pollutants. 

Primary Pollutants are those which are a direct 
result of some process. One example of this is sulfur-dioxide which  is emitted by factories.  

Secondary Pollutants are caused by the mixing and interactions between primary pollutants. One of the examples of secondary pollutants is smog which is formed by the intermingling of many primary pollutants. The sources of pollution are divided into natural and man-made sources. Man-made sources are further subdivided into indoor pollution sources and outdoor pollution sources. Now some of the major causes of air pollution are as follows:  

1.Burning of Fossil Fuels: Many environmental experts have pointed out that air pollution is  
greatly caused in the process of use and production of energy sources and the major source of  energy in this world is still fossil fuels. So, it won't be far to say that the consumption of fossil  
fuels are a major issue and contributor in the spread and intensification of air pollution. Sulfur  
Dioxide has been identified as one of the major contributors in air pollution throughout the  
world. It is produced due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum etc. Also, the fuels 
powering our vehicles are made out of petroleum which consists of Hydro Carbons but due to  
inefficiencies in the engines, we are not able to burn them completely and efficiently. This leads  
to the release of harmful chemicals like PM, NO2, Nitric Oxide, Carbon Monoxide and Lead, the  
emission of such molecules in the air makes up a huge part in air pollution. 

2.Agriculture: Due to the heavy dependance on modern methods of farming which  
includes use of insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers. Ammonia is one of the most harmful  
substances in air and it is quotidian in farming activities. These chemicals also harm water bodies  and cause water pollution. There is also a common technique of burning the fields to get a clean piece of land, this procedure is also causing air pollution. 

3.Deforestation: deforestation helps exaggerate the impact of air pollution in many ways. One of the processes undertaken by plants  
is Carbon Sequestration in which plants store Carbon Dioxide (a major greenhouse gas) in their  
tissues for the process of photosynthesis and help reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide in air.  
Deforestation causes the reduction in trees and hence this process is also stopped, which leads to 
accumulation of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. (conserve energy future,2018) 

4.Mining: Mining is the process of extraction of minerals from beneath the ground, in this process there is a constant release of particulate matter in the air and chemicals in the air. This release of harmful particles are also a reason for the detrimental effects on the health of mine workers. 

5.Exhaust from Factories and Industries: Manufacturing Industries release a lot of harmful gases and chemicals like Carbon Monoxide, Hydrocarbons and Organic Compounds in the air. Due to the sheer reach of these industries, they are now becoming one of the major threats to environmental conditions throughout the globe.  

6. Indoor Pollution: In many households, indoor pollution is caused by the burning of fossil fuels and household cleaning products and paints. The burning of fossil fuels is mostly done for heating and cooking which can result into indoor air pollution, this is a major cause of premature 
deaths worldwide. Also, the release of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) from cleaning  
products and paints are another source of air pollution. These causes show us how diverse the  
impetus for air pollution is and also makes us question how complicated must it be to solve this
issue. 
     
   Effects of Air pollution  

The effects of Air Pollution are divided into health and environmental effects. Air pollution is 
detrimental to human health in many ways and is a major cause in total deaths throughout the  
world. The effects of Air Pollution on humans are as follows: 

1.Respiratory and Health Problems: the major effect of air pollution in humans is seen as lung  
and cardiovascular issues. Although research showed that air pollution also leads to reproductive and hormonal problems. Several million people die every year either directly or indirectly from  
air pollution. 

2.Child Health Problems: It has also been seen that air pollution can affect us even  
before our birth. Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy can result to miscarriages,  
premature birth, autism and asthma. Air pollution also causes damage to brain development  
which can cause pneumonia in children. Pneumonia is one of the major causes of deaths in  children under 5 years of age. Some common problems caused due to exposure to air pollutants. Irritation in eyes, nose and throat. Breathing difficulties and other problems like sneezing and coughing. Aggravated risk of heart attack. Cardiovascular and lung problems can be worsened. There are also major environmental concerns relating to Air Pollution: 

1. Acid Rain: Acid rain is the precipitation which contains high amounts of nitric acid  
and sulfuric acid, this is caused due to the emission of nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide during the  burning of fossil fuels. 

2. Eutrophication: it is a phenomenon in which high amount of nitrogen present in some pollutants gets deposited on the surface of water  
bodies and form algae. This alga adversely affects the plants and animals living under the surface. The green colored substance we see on the surface of water bodies around us is the result  
of this phenomenon. 

3. Global Warming: Another effect we see from air pollution is the alterations caused to the environment which led to global warming. One of these is the depletion of Ozone Layer caused mainly due to the presence of chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. If actions are not taken to preserve and restore the natural state, this will be an impending disaster and could lead to severe problems across the globe.  
        
Steps to prevent air pollution

We can reduce the air pollution by many ways, first of all most important thing is make  
awareness that how air pollution increases and how it impacts our local and regional environment, also it impacts our daily life including our health etc. As we that, human or  anthropogenic activities are primary reason that responsible for most of the air pollution in this  planet, for example - activities like deforestation, emissions from vehicles or transportation, harmful chemical gas emissions from industrial sectors, mining operations, burning of fossil  fuels are hugely polluting our natural environment and eventually causing to global warming, so to reduce air pollution, we need to control and set some limitations on these activities are very Important. For example - use public transportation instead of personal car or vehicle driving. Government should impose strict limitation on industrial gas emissions. Increasing dependency on renewable source of energy such as solar power, hydro power, tidal power instead of fossil fuel burning to generate electricity or energy. By promoting plantation, we can successfully reduce air pollution content from atmosphere (NIH, 2019).     
      

 Conclusion  

Air Pollution is thus a massive problem for the human race and the world, we have dug 
ourselves into such a deep hole, that it will require us at least three or four decades for decreasing it to normal levels. The most important thing is for making people aware about the devastating effects of air pollution and how it can make lives miserable for coming generations. Since our older generation could not make much difference to the effects of air pollution and became busy with only making extravagant announcements and bureaucracy. This should be our major concern for coming years to minimize our carbon footprint and try to reduce the burden of Air Pollution on the next generations. As important as it is for us to keep progressing industrially and making sure that development reaches each place, it is also necessary that we follow the policy of sustainable development throughout all proceedings and also make sure that we don’t create problems to the environment while making progress. The policies regarding environment which most international organizations have tried to instill throughout the world need better implementation and much better reach as many developing countries are still using old machinery and majority of their energy production is based off of conventional energy sources which make up for the majority of air pollution throughout the world. Thus, it can be said that although theoretically many solutions have been derived by researchers and environmental activists from around the world, enkindling the majority of people is still the task in hand and requires efforts of many organizations with focus on reducing air pollution and making up for the losses caused by it to the environment. Thus, implementation and ground work will be the key for coming years if we wish to make our world a better place for coming generations.Some last words, reducing air pollution should not be seen as a burden but more of a responsibility for each human being, such steps would be like climbing a ladder to escape from a hole that we dug for ourselves. 

Author - Mayank Mishra 
                                                                        

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